50 Positive Reinforcements for the Art Room

Positive reinforcement is a game changer in the art room. It’s amazing how a positive reinforcement, no matter how small, can make a difference in a child’s motivation and work habits. I’ve put together 50 ideas that could not be simpler to implement. These ideas are free and don’t take much time. None of them involve candy, art parties, or taking time away from instruction. Choose the ones that resonate with you to add to your arsenal of classroom management tricks!

50 Positive Reinforcements for the Art Room for Students

  1. Let a student assist the custodian in the art room.
  2. Have a student read art announcements to the class or over the PA system.
  3. Ask a student to be a helper in another art class with a different grade level.
  4. Recognize a student during school-announcements.
  5. Allow a student to be the first one in line.
  6. Let a student be a line monitor to ensure everyone is ready to leave the art room at the end of class.
  7. Have a student lead a class game.
  8. Let a student be your helper for the day.
  9. Let a student borrow and use the Principal’s chair for the entire art class.
  10. Allow a student to choose a book for you to read aloud to the class.
  11. Allow a student to choose music for the class to listen to while they work.
  12. Ask a student to help you design the bulletin board.
  13. Ask a student to help you choose artwork to display.
  14. Allow a group of students to draw on the whiteboard.
  15. Send a positive note home with a student.
  16. Allow a student some computer time.
  17. Have a student email their parent to share a success.
  18. Let a student work outdoors on a drawing or art project.
  19. Plan a lunch for you and a student or a student and your principal.
  20. Send a student to the office to talk about something that went well.
  21. Invite the principal in for an art game at the end of class.
  22. Let a student have 5 minutes of free choice art time at the end of class.
  23. Allow a student to visit the teacher’s lounge with you.
  24. Let a student take a break and go for a short walk in the hallway.
  25. Send a student to the library to select an art book to read.
  26. Lend an art supply to a student for a night or two.
  27. Let a student keep a favorite stuffed animal at the table with them.
  28. Make a positive phone call home.
  29. Allow a student to keep the school mascot at the table with them.
  30. Send a student to the office with a delivery.
  31. Allow a student to listen to music with headphones during class.
  32. Let a student control your slide presentation with a remote.
  33. Let a student start and stop a video the class is watching.
  34. Have a student demonstrate an art skill using a document camera.
  35. Let a student stay 5 extra minutes to help you clean up.
  36. Allow students a short chat break at the end of class.
  37. Display student work on an easel in the art room.
  38. Let a student sit at your desk for one class period.
  39. Let a student sit at a different table for one class period.
  40. Designate a special art tool of the day and let a student use it.
  41. Have a student share a piece of art they made at home.
  42. Teach the class your favorite art game.
  43. Let the students take off their shoes to work for a day.
  44. Allow a student to use a box of brand new crayons.
  45. Give out a fun sticker or pencil.
  46. Allow a student to come in during recess or lunch.
  47. Let a student use modeling clay for the last 5 minutes of class.
  48. Have a student share the progress they made on their artwork at the end of class.
  49. Designate a student as the sink manager and let them assist with clean up.
  50. Let a student use a pointer or laser pointer while you are analyzing art with the group.

What else would you add to the list to reinforce positive behavior in the art room?

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is AOEU’s Founder and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.

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